THE 25-year-old French Formula One driver Jules Bianchi has lost his battle for life after sustaining serious head injuries at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.
The Bianchi family confirmed his death at the same time as an official Twitter account announced the sad news. He had been in a coma since the race on October 5, when his Marussia came off the circuit and collided with a crane that was attending another stricken car.
A statement from the driver’s family said: “Jules fought right to the very end, as he always did, but today his battle came to an end.” A tweet from his racing team said: “We are devastated to lose Jules after such a hard-fought battle. It was a privilege to have him race for our team.”
Jules Bianchi’s accident at the Suzuka track brought about instant changes in the safety protocols of Formula One, including the stopping of a race more quickly under wet conditions.
It has been 21 years since F1 witnessed a death on track, when Ayrton Senna was killed at Italy’s Imola circuit in 1994. Thankfully, the continual safety revisions to the sport are making fatal accidents a rarity.
Mercedes driver Jenson Button said “Last night we lost a truly great guy and a real fighter #RIPJules my sincerest Condolences to his family and friends.”